Live at the Apollo

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Satur­day, 9.30pm, UKTV What a gift the abil­ity to per­form stand-up com­edy is. You don’t need an in­stru­ment, an am­pli­fier, an ear for pitch or even a tuner. You just walk on, grab the house mi­cro­phone and away you go. Of course you do need great orig­i­nal ma­te­rial, fan­tas­tic tim­ing, tremen­dous char­ac­ter and a de­gree of fear­less­ness. A hide like a rhinoceros, es­pe­cially at the be­gin­ning as you cut your teeth, is prob­a­bly use­ful as well. Too many stand-up com­edy mo­ments on tele­vi­sion fea­ture ex­tremely short sets. You might see a minute or two by some­one bril­liant on The David Let­ter­man Show (when Dave’s not hog­ging all the at­ten­tion with rou­tines of his own), but that’s likely to be your bloomin’ lot. How re­fresh­ing then that Live at the Apollo, a Bri­tish pro­gram of stand-up per­for­mances filmed live at the Ham­mer­smith Apollo the­atre in west Lon­don, lets some of the world’s finest comics rip with sets of up to a half-hour. Due to an ad­min­is­tra­tive hitch, the wrong discs were sent to most re­view­ers, in­clud­ing here at The Aus­tralian, which may ex­plain why some other guides point to per­for­mances tonight by Micky Flana­gan, Seann Walsh and Ja­son Byrne. Trust me, you’ll see Chatty Man Alan Carr, Andi Osho and Pa­trick Kielty. I men­tion this only be­cause the switcheroo gave me an ex­cuse to watch nearly two hours of the finest stand-up I’ve seen. They flew away like notes in the wind. Highly rec­om­mended.

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